Coronavirus (Covid 19) – Update

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus Covid-19 situation all staff at the Barnet UNISON Branch office are working from home in line with the Government’s instruction.

If you are a member seeking advice or support from UNISON the quickest way to receive a response is to email us at, if at all possible. You can leave a message speaking slowly and clearly please include your name and telephone number on 020 8359 2088. We will respond as soon as we can.

Alternatively you can contact UNISON Direct online only

To Join UNISON click the following link

Pay Barnet Bin Workers the right rate for the job now!

Dear member

We know that Barnet Bin workers want to be paid the right rate for working on the Green Waste Saturday service.

On 11 February 2021 Barnet UNISON submitted a claim for time and half for working on Green Waste Saturday service for the following reasons:

  1. Street Scene management are currently paying agency workers time and half for working on a Saturday.
  2. Barnet Council has other Council workers who are working time and half on a Saturday and double time on a Sunday.
  3. Street Scene management agree that paying time and half is affordable.
  4. Because the pay is so low a lot of members are already working six days a week for Barnet Council and want to maintain the right to have a weekend off when they choose.
  5. Barnet residents are now paying £70 for green waste collection which is generating millions of pounds to the service.
  6. Waste and Recycling workers have been working throughout the COVID pandemic.
  7. Waste and Recycling workers delivered an excellent service over the Christmas and New Year.
  8. Barnet believes that our members have shown that they can be relied on to work through the pandemic and have delivered through the Christmas and New Year period.
  9. Our members had to be flexible when working around the well documented issues with the last bin collection changes.
  10. Our members had to work around a depot that turned into a building site for almost 12 months due to serious subsidence.
  11. Our members are having to work in a depot that is too small for the number of staff which are now based there.
  12. There are not enough toilets and other welfare facilities in the depot.
  13. Our members are working outside during COVID with nowhere to take breaks due to COVID restrictions.

What do Barnet Council have to say?

On 1 April 2021 Barnet Council responded stating they will only pay time and a half if Bin workers give up their right to a weekend by accepting a change to their contract?

Last year Barnet Bin Workers in a strike ballot voted to reject this proposal to change their contracts.

What are Barnet UNISON doing now?

  • We are organising an informal strike ballot of all of our members working in Waste & Recycling.
  • We have requested an urgent Joint Negotiating Consultative Group (JNCG) meeting with the Chief Executive.

If we do not reach an agreement with the Council at the meeting above Barnet UNISON will have no option but to formally declare a trades dispute and seek support from UNISON National for a legal strike ballot as per our procedures.

We want our members to be treated fairly and with respect.

Keep a look out for news about your ballot paper

*Library workers work every other Saturday and their overtime is contractual. Library workers who work on a Sunday are paid double time and it is not contractual. However there are staff working in social services and the Registrars Service who work Saturday and are paid time and a half and it is not contractual.


NEC Nominations

Why Barnet UNISON Made Its Nominations for UNISON’s NEC

The nominations we made were of reps who supported the Paul Holmes for General Secretary Election campaign. We want our union to be more outspoken in its strategy for winning against the Government. Solidarity should be offered without people having to ask first. We want to win better terms and conditions for our members, to keep our members safe and to fight discrimination. This means being more accountable to the ordinary member with more resources going to the branches. The reps we nominated have a track record of supporting that outlook and acting on it. It’s time for real change.

Barnet UNISON Nominates Reps for UNISON NEC

The National Executive Council is made up of 63 delegates which members vote on based on their relevant constituency in the union. Each member of UNISON is likely to belong to a number of constituencies and so will have multiple votes. Please use your vote when it comes.

Barnet UNISON Branch Executive met on 9th of February and agreed on a number of nominations so that these people can stand in the NEC elections.

Barnet UNISON nominated:

Greater London (Regional) seats

Helen Davies (female seat)

Liz Wheatley (female seat)

Anju Paul (low paid reserved female seat)

Amerit Rait (male seat)


Local Government (Service Group) seats

Jane Doolan (female seat)

Andrea Egan (female seat)

Paul Holmes (male seat)

Diana Leach (general seat)


Community (Service Group) seats

Saoirse Fanning (female seat)

Kevin Jackson (male seat)


Black Members (Self Organised Group) seats

April Ashley (female seat)

Hugo Pierre (male seat)

Julia Mwaluke (reserved low paid female seat)


Disabled Members (Self Organised Group) seats

Paula Carlyle (female seat)

Sharron Nicholl (general seat)


Young Members (Self Organised Group) seats

Lilly Boulby (female seat)

Kiera Hilder (general seat)

Press release: “We Are Barnet” – Pay like Barnet!












“If we’re good enough for Barnet residents, we’re good enough for Barnet terms and conditions”A Barnet Group Worker

“I have rarely discovered such a deeply embedded scale of inequalities and exploitation in a local authority arms length company. This a damning indictment on the London Borough of Barnet who have colluded with this model for nearly a decade.” Dexter Whitfield, Director, European Services Strategy Unit

“It might be the London Living Wage but it’s not the London Living standard, is it?”A Barnet Group Worker on hearing they are to be moved from being paid the National minimum wage to the London Living Wage (£8.72/ hr to £10.85/ hr)

The Barnet Group workers are all on different terms and conditions often for the exact same job. This creates divisions and inequalities. Very few of the workers are on terms and conditions which resemble the Council terms and conditions and although the Council terms and conditions are hardly generous they are better in all areas than the terms and conditions most of the workers in The Barnet Group have. It means the Council can choose to pay inferior terms and conditions if it wants to.

Barnet Group staff worked through the COVID pandemic putting themselves and the lives of their families at risk. A number of them became ill with COVID as a result. They are care workers, support workers and housing workers.

The Barnet Group is a subsidiary wholly owned by Barnet Council. It now employs over 1,000 workers and is almost as big as the Council itself. All of the jobs and services done by The Barnet Group were all once carried out by the Council directly.

‘The embedded inequalities of Terms and Conditions and Pay across The Barnet Group cannot be tolerated any further.  

Barnet Group staff have been providing frontline services to the Public all the way through the Pandemic with little or no reward or recognition for the vital work and services we provide to Barnet residents on behalf of the Council – all we are asking is to be treated with the same respect as our colleagues who work directly for the Council – it really isn’t too much to ask!’  Patrick Hunter, Barnet UNISON convenor for Barnet Homes

“The Barnet Group is ridiculously complicated for work colleagues to understand. Frankly they do not understand how they can be doing the same job but be paid differently and I think we only need to understand one thing – it’s wrong. The high death rate in the UK from COVID is largely due to the socio-economic inequalities in the UK. We have had nearly one continuous year of lockdown. We all suffer when people are not paid enough to live on and thrive. This is why our campaign is about reversing that race to the bottom in pay, terms and conditions.” Helen Davies, Barnet UNISON Branch Chair


Note to Editors: Contact details: Helen Davies Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email:


To View Dexter Whitfields report summitted to Chief Executive of The Barnet Group please click on the UNISON link below

Barnet UNISON TBG Pay Claim

“We Are Barnet” Campaign explained

We Are Barnet” explainer flyer

“We Are Barnet – Pay like Barnet” petition






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